Falmouth Wharf will retain 'commercial role', says developer
1:00pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
PROPOSALS to redevelop the Falmouth Wharf, on North Parade, will lead to a 20 per cent increase in access to deep-water wharfing facilities, according to the man behind the scheme.
Wharf owners Fairhaven Shipping say they are committed to maintaining a commercial marine role for the wharf as part of plans for the area, which include 44 new apartments, 17 industrial/workshop units, a 14-bedroom hotel, gallery space and a restaurant/café.
The redevelopment would support an estimated 125 full-time jobs when completed as well as providing a base for local artists and small industrial businesses, including firms already based in the existing crumbling buildings.
Campaigners fighting to stop the scheme have claimed the plans would drive business away rather than attract it to the wharf.
However, the architect for the scheme, Jonathan Manser, said claims that Falmouth would lose vital deep-water access as a result of the proposals were simply incorrect.
He said: “The fundamental principle of this scheme is to create a vibrant and mixed use development that reflects its working marine environment. “As part of that, the intention is to improve the wharf and make it more useable.”
Under the proposals, the area of useable wharf will increase by more than 20 per cent from 900 square metres to 1,100 square metres. Access ramps will be provided, there will be room to drive vehicles all the way around the edge and the working wharf will be separated from public areas by a change in level and balustrading.
Businesses already operating at the wharf will be given preferential terms when the new space is built, including being offered space in the new redevelopment at a long-term subsidised rent.
The aim is to encourage an active arts community too, with the new gallery following on from the success of the Fish Factory studios on the site at the moment, which is supported and administered by the wharf’s owners.
Objectors have raised concerns that the new plans will continue to hamper the growth of Falmouth’s marine-related industrial sector. A spokesman said: “How will it be |possible for lifting cranes to operate under the overhang of the balconies of luxury flats and within designated youth and adult open space? “We feel strongly that, if approved, this plan will spell the end of the wharf’s working life.”